Learning Lessons

One of the members of the church took pity on my golf game and arranged for me to take a couple of golf lessons with one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 teachers. I had my first lesson a few weeks ago, and will go again this afternoon. It's making a difference, though there's a lot more "rough" than "diamond" right now.

I've taken a few golf lessons before, but from guys who were way less qualified than this guy, and who helped me develop some bad habits as quick-fixes for bad tendencies. They helped my game in the short-term, but didn't do me any favors in the long-term. This new guy has (so far) been able to help me develop habits that should help me short-term and long-term.

Something I've learned the hard way in ministry and in golf is that you have to be really careful where you learn your lessons. Some people are eager to bring you under their wing and teach you things, but their lessons aren't worth learning as far as the big picture is concerned.

Same thing with books. I used to believe there was no such thing as a book I wouldn't read. I told people, "every book contains some valuable piece of insight." I'm slowly deciding that while that may be true, it's not worth the struggle of mining insight from the weeds. There are enough good and important books out there (and being written) that it's a poor use of my time to struggle through a book looking for "that one thing."

I don't mean that I refuse to glean insights at all from people I disagree with - that's certainly not the case. I also don't mean that I refuse to read books that I don't like. Some books (and people) are important to listen to simply because you disagree. But I certainly don't look to surround myself with those people like I do the people who have something to add, and I'm more quick to put a book down halfway through if it isn't helpful. I need to invest my time in something that is going to be instructive for the long-haul.

Twenty years from now, I want to consistently score in the low 80s or high 70s when I play golf, and be the very best Christian pastor I can be. In order to accomplish that, I need to be wise in who I choose to pour into those two areas of my life.


Anonymous said...

This totally explains why you haven't called in a while...

Say no more, say no more. :)